“Casually.” Was I ever wrong.
I thought getting to the movie 20 minutes early would give me plenty of time to get good seats, but when I arrived, I was surprised to find that my showing had sold out.
Lines. Lines everywhere.
In the packed lobby, young teenage girls were clutching blankets, buying popcorn, and chattering with each other. My friends and I went on a pilgrimage to different Fargo theaters to find a showing that hadn’t sold out, claiming three of the last tickets of the final showing of the night.
At this point, I was intrigued. I hadn’t seen people making this much fuss out of a movie since the last Harry Potter movie had been released. I hadn’t read John Green’s book or followed the movie’s marketing…and in light of its apparent popularity, I felt like I had been dropped right in the middle of a frenzy.
Could Fault in Our Stars really be worth all this hype and trouble?
After all, it is a movie about teen romance. I’m usually not a big fan. I’d much rather watch Hot Fuzz for the billionth time. The typical teen romance movies formula consists of two teens wanting to be together but adults and classmates telling them they can’t because society and status quo.
Suffice to say, Fault in Our Stars was a bit of an anomaly in the teen romance genre. In a sea of romantic movies, the highest praise I can give this movie is that it is…different. In a good way.
Our two main leads (Hazel and Gus) meet in a cancer support group, become friends, discuss literature, share their dreams and fears, and then become…more than friends. It’s a pretty simple premise, but the difference between this movie and every other romantic movie I’ve seen is that these kids have experienced some of the tough truths about life (and death) first-hand and because of this seem more mature than most leads in romantic movies.
These teens aren’t concerned with going to the prom or which college they will go to; they just want to live another day as pain-free as possible. Hazel’s big dream is to meet the author of her favorite intellectual book and ask him questions about his work. Pretty atypical for a teen girl in a movie, but much easier for me to relate to than a girl whose main goal is to get a killer dress for senior prom. It doesn’t hurt that actor Shailene Woodley’s got some mad acting chops. The male lead, Gus, in turn is actually a nice, funny, thoughtful guy (kind of like a manic pixie dream dude)…also out of the ordinary for a teenage boy.
I don’t want to give too much of the movie away, but I can tell you that if you have a heart, you will feel something by movie’s end, whether it is hope, happiness, sadness, or longing. In my theater, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye.
Fault in Our Stars was “okay.” And once you see the movie, you’ll realize what high praise that is.